Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Nationals – 07/07/11

Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (35-53) vs. Nationals (45-43)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Nationals Park, Washington D.C.

Matt Garza (4-7, 3.77/1.27) vs. Livan Hernandez (5-8, 3.73/1.35)

Updated: 3:45pm CDTAccording to multiple reports, Ryan Dempster’s side session Thursday went well and Dempster will start Saturday’s game against the Pirates

Mike Quade will hand the ball tonight to Matt Garza in need of a long outing from the only dependable starter right now in his rotation. The Cubs are at the end of a stretch of 38 games in 38 days (Thursday is game 35) and the play on the field shows. The Cubs look like a team that needs a break … and unless something changes, they will go into the All-Star break without a three-game winning streak this season.

After receiving a couple of days off, Kosuke Fukudome should be back in the starting lineup tonight with Reed Johnson getting a breathier.

In other news Ryan Dempster played catch Wednesday and is scheduled to throw a side session prior to tonight’s game. If all goes well, Dempster will start on Saturday night against the Pirates. If Dempster cannot complete his bullpen session, the Cubs will place Dempster on the DL and recall Casey Coleman to make the start on Saturday. If that happens, the Cubs starters for the final series prior to the break will be: Rodrigo Lopez, Casey Coleman and Ramon Ortiz.

Jeff Baker was unable to take batting practice prior to Wednesday’s game and was unavailable off the bench. Quade is hoping that Baker will be able to play tonight. Baker is officially listed as day-to-day.

The Cubs are 13-27 since May 27 (.325 winning percentage) and tonight it all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza will make his last start before the break tonight. Garza is coming off a complete game loss to the White Sox in which he took a no hitter into the sixth inning. Garza was filthy and while it is easy to say it was his best pitching performance of the year … it really was.

Garza has pitched better at Wrigley (3-3 in eight starts with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP) than on the road this season (1-4 in seven starts with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP).

The Cubs need an effective, long outing from Garza tonight.

Matt Garza is 2-3 in his last six starts with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP (17 runs, 16 earned, on 30 hits with 12 walks and 27 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings).

Tonight will be Garza’s second career start against the Nationals … no record in one game with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.94 WHIP. Garza last faced Washington on June 12, 2009 at Tropicana Field.

Nationals Career Numbers against Matt Garza

  • Alex Cora – 0-for-3
  • Ivan Rodriguez – 5-for-15 with a walk
  • Matt Stairs – 2-for-13 with 2 walks
  • Jayson Werth – 1-for-3 with a home run
  • Ryan Zimmerman – 1-for-3

The Cubs will face the ageless wonder, Livan Hernandez tonight … and if the offense does not make him work the veteran right-hander will have a field day tonight.

Livan Hernandez has put together a good season and is coming off a no decision against the Pirates. Pittsburgh scored only two runs on six hits against Hernandez in seven innings but the Nationals lost the game 5-3.

Hernandez was very good last month and posted a 2-2 record in five starts with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Hernandez struck out 24 and walked just six in 32 innings. At home this season, Hernandez has been lights out (4-2 in nine starts with a 2.49 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP).

Tonight will be the 23rd start of Hernandez’s career against the Chicago Cubs. He is 11-7 with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Livan Hernandez

  • Jeff Baker – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles
  • Marlon Byrd – 9-for-27 with a double and 2 walks
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-3
  • Blake DeWitt – 2-for-3 with a home run
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 3-for-5 with a double and 2 walks
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Reed Johnson – 5-for-16 with a double and a triple
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 12-for-33 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 7-for-21 with a double and a triple
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-4 with 2 walks

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Soriano – LF
    Barney – 2B
    Garza – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Carlos Zambrano to rehab with Chiefs Friday night http://bit.ly/qxyGdu Tickets Here: http://bit.ly/qaU7yD

  • paulcatanese

    Basically the same lineup Quade has trotted out there the last three games and nothing to show for it. Fukudome is in the lineup and thats a plus, and Soto out of the four spot. And hoping for a long outing by Garza, thats what Quade hopes for every day. If he dosen’t change his approach to the game it will be just the same result as before, another loss. In the last three games the Cubs were close and those are the kind of games that a manager can make a big difference. Lets hope any changes he may pull out of his hat ( as he usualy manages that way) turn out to be the right ones. As usual look for DeWitt or Johnson in a critical spot.

  • Brp921

    We have some good numbers against Hernandez and a good pitcher in Garza going against him. Might I say we could stop the losing  streak tonight.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: 
    MLB says Cubs RHP Enyelberth Pena, who is on Dominican summer league team, tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. 50-game ban. 

    • Tom U

      I hate to put it this way, but it didn’t seem to be helping him much. 

      Pena was 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 15 K’s, 10 BB in 7 relief appearances.

  • Mike1040

    Ho-hum!

  • BosephHeyden

    I get the feeling that the Cubs win today to avoid the sweep.  I also get the feeling that the Cubs win tomorrow and Saturday to win three in a row for the first time.  I get this feeling because, of all the games the Cubs have left, tomorrow through Sunday are three of the games I don’t want them to win.  At all.  They’re done this year, and the Pirates have a chance to win the Central.  The Cubs need to not be d-bags and just do the same horrible job they’ve done all season this weekend…they can win today, but not the rest of the weekend.

    • paulcatanese

      Quade just got through saying the Cubs can turn it around,and he believes it can start today,and he believes it everyday. I don’t want to say anything about the mentality of a person, but this guy is pushing it. Is he not at all at the ballpark every day? Can he not see with his own eyes what’s going on? He see’s no base hits flying around the park? His players messing up? He’s gone too far here with a statement like that, and needs a checkup himself. The man is beyond himself.

    • GaryLeeT

      Don’t worry, if you want losing, there will be plenty of it for a long time to come.

  • paulcatanese

    No input on Mateo yet? How long does it take to read an MRI? Results can be obtained within 24 hours. Are the Cubs afraid it will show a strain from overuse? If they stretch it out far enough the All Star break will push it even further along. People have a tendacy to forget. Or it might mean that they, along with their other pitchers don’t care about injuries.

  • Spoda

    Pittsburgh is a perfect example where the manager makes a huge difference.  I am pulling for them as well.

  • GaryLeeT

    NO FIRST INNING RUNS ALLOWED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Espinosa two run single as the cubs is losing again

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Garza throws the ball in the stands , runners on second and third no outs ouch

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Sure glad the Cubs did all those PFPs back in Spring Training …

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    4-0 this is getting ugly.

  • GaryLeeT

    Every member of the team has accepted losing. I really worry about it becoming ingrained into the younger player’s psyche.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    bases loaded and no outs , Garza could be out of this game soon.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Ramos two run double 6-0 i am ready to put a bag over my head. Garza is out of this game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza pulled in the third inning w/o recording an out. 6 runs in, eight straight
    reached (7 hits, 1 error). Cubs charged w/ 2 errors

  • GaryLeeT

    Infield plays in, to try and cut off that all important 7th run.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    7-0

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    The inning is finally over

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    They can not even catch a fly ball now this getting absurd now

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And Barney and Kosuke watch the ball fall to the ground … third error of the game

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    They are not focused, no effort or fundamentals as Bob just pointed out.

    • Kojak Osborne Jr.

      This sad to be watching

  • KevininSandiego

    Just like I said when the Cubs got Garza, He is a Zambrano part 2. He is inconsistent but show flashes of great ability and great mental lapses.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Kevin, the problem with both Garza and Zambrano is the Cubs (Hendry) viewed (in Garza’s case views) them as number one pitchers, or dare I use the word ‘ace’. Neither are number ones nor aces … and in Z’s case he never was. Garza is a solid number three on a winning team and Z would have been if things would have turned out differently with Prior and Wood.

      • KevininSandiego

        I know But I really pissed off Jeff Nelson on Round trip when I called Garza “Zambrano part 2″. The thing is they both have #1 stuff or in Zambrano had but the both don’t have the mental part of it down.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    8-0 , Another run score but not Samardrija fault

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    What in the blank? Down by 8 runs and Baker is trying (that is the problem) a single into a double against Rick Ankiel.

  • Brentcarmona

    bob said i dont even know what to say amymore…..wow jeff baker was only two thirds of the way there and got tagged out. eeekk

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Russel is coming in now , they should let Samardriza pitched another inning to save the bullpen

  • OttawaBob

    Baker out at 2nd,  This team is a sad joke on Cub nation.  Like Brenly said, What more can ANYBODY say??!!!!!!!!!

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    3 run home run for Dewitt Cubs is back in the game.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wow, 6 runs … all with two outs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Pena ties the game at eight.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Pena ! !!!!!!! game tied

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And the Cubs take the lead. Castro with a two-out double and Ramirez with a single on a 3-2 pitch.

  • Aaron

    The sad state of Cubs pitching (both minors and MLB) continues today.

    Del Valle-Peoria (recently promoted from rookie ball), 3 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned, 1 hr allowed, 1 walk, 3 K’s

    Loosen-Tenn (recently promoted from A-ball), 6 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned, 1 hr allowed, 3 walks, 5 K’s

    Rusin-Iowa (recently promoted from AA), 4 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned, 1 hr, 0 walks, 2 K’s

    At least the MLB Cubs are showing some life tonight. Where was all this heart all season? The whole season we’ve been watching veterans go through the motions

    • Tom U

      Baby steps, Aaron.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Barney with his second double of the night plates Campana with the go ahead run

  • Ripsnorter1

    No team which was once 17 games under .500, has ever come back to make the playoffs that same year in MLB. 

    The Cubs started tonight 18 games under .500 . . . .

    And they were able to do this remarkable feat in the first half of the season!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aram and Pena have turned on the power in the month of June. Aram started the night with 48 RBI, Pena with 46. Castro is 3rd with 38, and Little Alfonso is next with 37. Ryan Theriot has 32 for the Cards. Next is Barney with 27 RBI. Those are the Cubs’ RBI leaders thus far.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Nationals 10-9. Barney: 3-for-5,
    2 2B, R, 3 RBI; Ramirez: 2-for-3, 2R, RBI, BB; Pena: 1-for-5, HR, 2RBI; DeWitt
    PH, 3R HR

  • paulcatanese

    Baker trying to stretch, stupid. Soto on first base. Even Len and Bob said he would be out on a bunt,should have had Campana run.Stupid. Campana gets on steals and Barney drives him in. All in all a very mis-managed game, even though they came back a long way to win. Quade’s buddy came thru DeWitt home run,great.
    A win, but a very lucky win.Ninth, lucky for Marmol.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs down 8-0 going into the top of the 6th. Scored 10 runs in final 4 innings, Darwin Barney GW RBI in the top of the 9th. Cubs pen 1 ER in relief of Matt Garza (7R, 6ER, BB, 4K in 2+ IP)

  • jw

    It’s hard to watch Marmol. I bet he leads the league in almost blown saves if there is a stat for that  He has wicked stuff when his timing is right but it is so Cub to have a guy that flashes brilliance but with mechanics flawed beyond correction that doom him to inconsistency. The Cubs organization doesn’t seem to have a philosophy or any concept of teaching it. God forbid we should get teachable talent and train them how to select ( or call) pitches and pitch with control and intelligence in our system.